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Servite Summer Basketball Tournament : Los Alamitos Sends Conlisk to Summer School to Play

Times Staff Writer

The subject: Robert Conlisk, a 6-foot-10 senior center at Los Alamitos High School.

The task: Make him more consistent, smooth out a few rough edges and make him the best center in Orange County, if not the Southern Section.

Conlisk is close to being the best already. A few weeks ago, he was named the top center at the Superstars camp in Santa Barbara.

He moves well for a big man, isn’t afraid to get out with the quick guards and slashing forwards on the fast break. He’s a terror on the boards, particularly at the defensive end. He jumps well, extends his arms and aggressively snatches the ball.

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Conlisk shows a soft touch on his shots. He has perfected a nice little turn-and-shoot off the backboard.

And then there’s his size. Six-foot-10 players generally will attract the attention of talent hungry college coaches.

The refinements will only help Conlisk--playing with Los Alamitos in the Servite summer basketball tournament--in landing a college scholarship. They also will likely establish him as one of the top players in the county regardless of position and aid Los Alamitos in its Empire League championship bid once the regular season begins in December.

Steve Brooks, Los Alamitos coach, believes it’s only a matter of time before Conlisk polishes his game.

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“He made a lot of improvement from his sophomore year to his junior,” Brooks said. “And I expect he’ll make a lot of improvement from last year to the one coming up.”

Brooks had just watched Conlisk score a game-high 25 points to lead the Griffins to a 54-48 victory over Marina in a first-round game Friday. Conlisk played extremely well at times, dominating the game against a smaller Marina team, playing without Cherokee Parks, a 6-11 center. But at other times, he seemed to have trouble getting in tune with the offense.

“He’s had a lot of outstanding games this summer,” Brooks said. "(But) we’re striving for consistency.”

As a junior, Conlisk was a bright spot in a junior dominanted team that tied for second place in league play with a 6-4 record after struggling early in the season.

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He averaged 15.8 points, 9.3 rebounds a game and, most impressively, made 62% of his shots from the field.

This season, Conlisk will be on display nationwide. In addition to playing in some of the more competitive tournaments in the Southern Section, including the Tournament of Champions, Los Alamitos is heading to Washington, D.C., to play DeMatha and St. John’s high schools.

Brooks is trying to make his center bulkier and stronger.

“He’s increased his bench press by about 40 pounds since last year,” Brooks said. “The goal is 250, he’s about 220 right now.”

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Tournament notes

Cherokee Parks of Marina and Scott McCorkle of Capistrano Valley, two of the tournament’s top attractions each missed their team’s opening round games Friday. Both were attending the Nike camp at Princeton, N.J.


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